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The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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THE LAST DAYS

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(C) Copyright By Massimo Franceschini all the rights reserved.

The next logical question is, when will the Jews read this record so that they may be comforted? Isaiah talked about a time when the Lord will make "bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Isaiah 52:10, italics added). Isaiah says that there will be a time when every nation will see the salvation of God, not just the nation of the Jews. And to emphasize this point he adds that this includes every part of the earth! Obviously, the American continents are part of the earth. That must mean even the people living here would someday know of his salvation. Even David sung of this event in the 98th Psalm, verse three.

But how are they to learn of this salvation? Isaiah prophesied, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness" (Isaiah 29:18). What "book" is Isaiah referring to? It can't be the Bible because the word "bible" literally means "a book of books", or a compilation of books. In the days of Isaiah, the scriptures were not contained in one book, as we have today. Each book of our present-day Bible was a separate and distinct scroll. So Isaiah must have been talking about a different book than the Bible.

Notice that because of this book, "the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness." This book would be responsible for bringing people out of spiritual darkness and help them to see the salvation of the Lord more clearly. Obviously, Isaiah can't be talking about the Bible because just the opposite is true with it. There are more Christian churches today teaching different doctrines of salvation than any other religion in the world. And they all base their beliefs on the Bible! If there is any spiritual blindness and darkness, Christians as a whole easily fit into that category.

Then what book is Isaiah referring to?

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" (Jeremiah 16:19). Why will all the nations from every part of the world come to God? Because their eyes will have been opened and they will see the truth for the first time. Then they will acknowledge that their fathers had taught them lies, that their fathers had acted in pride and vanity concerning God, and had been engaged in those things that brought them no spiritual profit.  At this point it is better to reread the declaration at the beginning of the Book of Mormon:" Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever- and also to convincing of the Jew and gentile that Jesus is the Christ the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting Himself unto all nations."Isaiah declared the surprise of these people

Isaiah 49:21 "Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?"

And what is it that will open their eyes and allow them to see the redeeming work of God and the salvation of the house of Jacob and especially the tribe of Joseph? A book! And when has there been such a book come forth in the history of the world since the time of Zachariah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah that has had this effect upon every nation?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is founded on and built around the Book of Mormon. Today, the LDS church is being preached and is establishing congregations in almost every country in the world. People everywhere are having their eyes opened to God's salvation through the writings of a remnant of the house of Joseph. People in every nationality are declaring that the things they learned from their fathers about God and salvation have not been entirely true. As Jeremiah prophesied, people from all parts of the earth are now coming to God.

Among this religious body there is no divisions of doctrines and beliefs as there are in other Christian churches. There is taught "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all" (Ephesians 4:4-5). Truly, the fulfillment of ancient prophecy is found today because of the Book of Mormon.

But is that all the Bible has to say about the Book of Mormon?

REVELATION

The apostle John wrote, "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (Revelation 12:1).

It is widely accepted that the visions which John had on the Isle of Patmos are figurative in nature. That is, everything he wrote represents or is symbolic of something other than what is actually mentioned. For example, in the above verse there isn't a real woman who was clothed with the real sun, standing upon the real moon who wore a real crown that was large enough to have twelve real stars affixed to it. Therefore, each of these items must represent something different than what is actually being described. The hard part for many is determining what each figure represents.

That shouldn't be too difficult because for each of these real items to be symbolic, they must have some sort of relationship to whatever they are representing. Therefore, the question can be asked, "Who or what is represented by the woman, the sun, the moon, the crown and the twelve stars?" Unfortunately, from this one verse alone, it is impossible to make that determination. But let's put the whole story together.

Continuing, the revelator wrote, "And she being with child cried, travailing in birth and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in the heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads, and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth, and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born" (Revelation 12:2-4).

The dragon is representative of the devil. The fact that he has "seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns" shows what great power he has. Furthermore it shows that the devil has more than one power at his disposal through which he rules. Since God uses only one power - the priesthood - it wouldn't be too far fetched to say that Satan uses several "priesthoods" to accomplish his goals.

This great, powerful dragon drew away one third of the stars of heaven, and these stars then were cast to the earth. This is a clear reference to the war which Satan waged in heaven. The stars then are the angles of heaven who followed after him. But who is the woman, and who is the child she delivered? Some say that Christ was the child. But that still doesn't explain who the woman was. It certainly isn't Mary, the mother of Jesus. Furthermore, the man child can't be Christ if the very next verses are to make any sense.

"And she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days" (Revelations 12:5-6).

It must be kept firmly in mind that everything in Revelation is symbolic. The woman and man child spoken of are not symbolic of real men and woman, but represent something much different. Notice also that when the "man child" was born, the dragon was waiting to devour him. Instead, the child was taken off the earth and was returned "unto God and his throne", while the woman fled into the wilderness. Furthermore, there was a place prepared for her to go to in the wilderness where she was feed for 1260 days. There is no similarity between this story and the life of Christ or Mary, His mother.

The story tells us that Satan and his angels came to earth where they set about trying to tempt Adam and Eve. In fact, they were successful in separating these two people from their creator. The gospel was then given to man, and everytime it was preached, Satan was there to destroy it. And it was the gospel that has been taken off the earth at various times because of the wickedness of man. Thus, the "man child who was to rule all nations" represents the gospel of Christ, and the "woman" who brings forth the gospel in much pain and travail is the church.

Then what is the "sun" "moon" and "twelve stars" symbolic of? The "sun" is the Son of God, who shines forth with the glory of the Father, whose light and life extends to all, just as the sun gives light and life to all. The twelve stars represent the twelve apostles, shining brightly as they spread forth the gospel, and they form the ruling power of the church. The "moon" represents that which is changeable. The real moon doesn't always look the same to us. Sometimes it's full, sometimes it's only half full, sometimes it's just a quarter full, and sometimes it isn't there at all. The symbol of the church standing on the moon shows how the church remains constant even though the world changes.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 10:50  

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